Columnist

This is not the Senate that I believe in.

I look around and see only the ruin of this once-great democratic institution. What has become of the process? Where are the committees? Where is the deliberation?

This bill is bad, and it was made in a process that was even worse. The courageous thing to do would be to stand against it. And yet no one will, not even me.

I am disgusted.

Bills ought to be passed with deliberation by committees. Change should be achieved in a bipartisan manner. Incrementally, day by day, we should reach a consensus — not perfect, by any means — but something that we can be proud of, nonetheless. That is why, when this dangerous and secret bill came up for a vote, I said “Aye,” in such a cold and cutting tone.

This place should not be vulnerable to the shifting winds of public opinion, like some sort of novelty windsock. The Senate was supposed to be like a saucer where the Founders could pour their coffee to cool it. Well, I don’t think this saucer would cool any coffee, because this saucer is BROKEN. And now this nation is covered in coffee. By God! (This was more stirring in my head.)

We are supposed to make compromises. We are supposed to listen. But these sad days, no one will. Not even me.

This is no way to proceed. Is anyone in favor of this legislation? Do we even know what this is? It is happening so fast that I cannot be sure, but it seems to benefit no one except taxpayers in high-income brackets and those who delight in human suffering. We are doing the legislative equivalent of throwing darts at a wall, but the wall is made of human faces.

I have no idea what is passing and what is being debated. Everything around me is chaos. Out of the wreckage of the parliamentary procedure rides Mitch McConnell on a pale horse sowing destruction in his wake. I think we just agreed to push all wheelchairs, occupied or not, over a cliff somewhere, but honestly I have no idea.

Will you just stand by and let this happen? You must not, because I will.

Where are the courageous three or four people who are willing to stand alone with me against this? I can’t do it without the cover of a courageous three or four people, and those people are nowhere to be found.

By God, what has become of the Senate? What has become of the nation’s greatest deliberative body? It is time that someone else took a stand. This legislation we are throwing frantically up for a vote is a disgrace to the country, it is cruel, and we arrived at it the wrong way, and so I will not vote for it more than once.

After all, I am here to serve my constituents by doing what I think, after deliberation, is in their best interests. I am here because I believe people working together across the aisle to tackle the challenges facing America can pass laws that make their lives better and easier. That is why I am here, in theory. And I will gladly stand alone against this shameful process that threatens all that I hold dear by issuing a series of scathing statements to reporters on my way in to the floor to vote for whatever this mystery bill is.

We are the equal of the executive, but we don’t act like it. Well, we should start acting like it! Where is the brave man or woman who will go first? I eagerly await such a person.

This bill was not given the process it deserves. We should have deliberated in committee. We should have held hearings. We should have done this the right way. There is only one way to proceed: We must absolutely proceed with it. I, for one, will fight it tooth and nail. I will do everything except vote against it.

Who will stand without me?